Top Ten Cool Cruises

1. Honeymoon Cruise on Your Own Private Yacht


Does it really matter where you cruise if you are traveling on your own private yacht? Does it really matter if you even leave the dock if you are traveling on your own private yacht? For the record, the most popular private yacht cruises go all around the Hawaiian Islands or from San Diego south along the west coast of Mexico. In the summer, a long and leisurely cruise from the Grand Banks south to Key West appeals to many; and others enjoy a private cruise from Barcelona to London along Europe’s west coast.


2. South Seas Sailboat Charter


Take the last recommendation and make it warmer, more exotic, and less civilized. Book your cruise on a seventy-five foot sloop or ketch and sail around in the South Seas sunshine for as long as you want without ever really going anywhere. If it suits you, you may travel for weeks without seeing land, people, or five bars on your cell.


3. San Francisco to the Mexican Riviera Sailboat Charter


During the summer, the prevailing wind blows steadily out of the Northwest, the perfect power for a big sailboat headed almost directly south from the Golden Gate to the warm waters off Mexico. Sailing along the west coast of North and Central America, you may put in at a dozen colorful sea ports, or you may sail steadily southward letting the continent fall beneath your eastern horizon. The rhythms of sun, moon, and tides will replace your hectic daily schedule; and, most nights, you will dine on the Pacific delicacies you just caught.


4. A Disney Family Cruise of the Caribbean


Lots of premium cruise lines operate boats all around the Caribbean, but only Disney built its ships exclusively for family travel, and only Disney outfitted its ships with signature Disney touches in every square inch. Disney-friendly cruise experts recently did the math, concluding that you and your family can travel around the Caribbean on a Disney cruise ship for less than it will cost you to pilot the family mini-van across the United States to visit grandma. Which sounds more like your fantasy of ideal family travel? If you’re worried that you may grow tired of the kids all bunked-in with you in close quarters, rest assured that parents have been known to go whole days and nights without seeing or worrying about their children. The boat has more than enough to keep them amused.


5. The Old-Fashioned Cruise from New York to London


Opulent, luxurious, the height of Victorian elegance. A place where high tea and seven-course dinners seem perfectly appropriate and it would seem just silly not to dress in formal attire for the evening meal. A place where string quartets are comme il faut and the occasional symphony orchestra by no means seems out of place. You can still book the ultimate five-star passage between London and New York, crossing the Atlantic in the grand style of European Royalty at the turn of the twentieth century. Travel experts assure that they have that iceberg thing perfectly under control.


6. A Cruise of the Mediterranean


Think of a cruise around the Caribbean except with culture, history, elegance, refinement, and a more varied menu. You may cruise all the biggest Mediterranean seaports, or you may cruise among the Greek Isles. Hard-core touring favors the cities. Hard core romance favors the Isles. Your favorite may vary.


7. A Disney Family Cruise from Los Angeles to Alaska


The most important word here is “Disney.” For the first time, during the summer of 2010, Disney will cruise from Los Angeles to and through Alaska. As they launch their two new Caribbean and European ships, Disney Cruise Lines move Disney Magic to the Pacific. A Disney cruise would be indescribable fun even if the boat never cast off from the dock, but going north to San Francisco, Seattle, and Alaskan fjords to Anchorage gives the family a chance to see the American west coast from a whole new perspective. And, on the off chance you still have not had enough fun for one vacation, you can extend your stay with a couple of nights at Disneyland.


8. Miami to Los Angeles through the Panama Canal


You travel through four or five countries and seven hundred years of colonial history without ever leaving the tropics, and you shop in more exotic markets for more rare and precious cargo than you can find collected in any other place with a buffet, turn-down service, and chocolates on your pillow. You get the best of not only the Caribbean but also Central America and two of the United States’ most diverse cities.


9. Riverboat Cruise through the Netherlands


Of all the ways to tour Europe, learn a language or two, immerse in a culture and escape as far from your ordinary, everyday life as possible, a riverboat cruise through the Netherlands certainly must number among the very, very best. Think of your riverboat as a floating bed-and-breakfast, and imagine waking up each morning to the sight of windmills turning in the distance or a vibrant, modern city appearing out of the fields, begging for your exploration. No, your riverboat will not have a buffet or karaoke night, but it will have comforts and charms big old steamships cannot rival.


10. Gondolla Cruises around the World


Rachael Summers, a travel consultant for Walt Disney Resorts, put together this interesting cruise package as a honeymoon tour for one of her best friends; it takes some planning and expertise, but it gives you a chance to cruise in some of the world’s most exotic and beautiful places. The operative word is “cruise” as a verb, not as a noun; “cruise” as in feel the boat moving and drink in the scenery as it goes by. Rachael arranged for the honeymooners to stay in Venice, Italy, cruising everywhere by gondola. Then, they stayed in Paris, cruising leisurely along the River Seine; after Paris, the couple moved on to London, where they cruised the River Thames. From Europe, the pair traveled almost half way across the world to the Grand Canyon, Arizona, where they cruised the Colorado River, and then they retired to the honeymoon suite at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas, which has its own indoor canal system and transports newlyweds everywhere by, of course, gondola.

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